Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Status Updates

Apologies for delays on replying to comments and PMs over the weekend; I forgot I'm not superhuman and ended up wrenching some back muscles on Sunday. This of course resulted in no sleep; which of course results in my not wanting to go near the Nexus.

On the up side, in an attempt to keep my back aligned and... you know, not in constant white-hot pain... I reset my chair so that the seat leans back about 30 degrees and locked it in place. Very nice. I think I'll leave it this way; and it did fulfill its intended purpose of keeping everything lined up and relaxed. So, if you pull something in your back and can't figure out how to sit in a computer chair without pain... well, it's worth a try.

Yesterday I got jumped by a wild redhead seeking to alleviate the pain in my back for me... three times. Does help one sleep, I'll say that much.

Anyway. Feeling mostly alive again today, and I've dealt with the latest drama in my PM box.

NCCS updates will probably be delayed for awhile; while my existing saves do still work, I want to get the ability to start new characters back before diving back into modding the game. New characters are an essential testing component for big mods, after all.

I'll confess, I completely welched on my work on the Tower on Sunday. Ended up going out of town; and by the time I got home my back was already complaining. So I skipped. Apologies on that; I'll get around to it eventually.

Fallout 3... don't expect to see my new companions "system" up for download anytime soon. This was more a proof of concept thing to me; to see how I could make one work with no extra baggage. It's not done, anyway. Since I typed the companion scripts out freehand, I ended up getting the timing wrong on a couple of events; which need further tweaking before I'd be willing to call them good.

There seems to be a belief cropping up that I'm going to delete the RR Companions Vault outright. I'm not. I'm not enough of a dick to throw that many players and other modders under the bus.

I bitch... because I'm a perfectionist, and I know I could do it better. It chafes that I can't make it better without destroying so much. It's kind of like scratching the paint on a new car. After a week, you don't even go onto that side of the car anymore, because every time you see the scratch, you hate yourself for doing something so careless and stupid.

I've read tell (since you can't hear over the internet...) that Nexus admins can change the 'uploaded by' entry of a file. I've broached the subject of having RR changed to my name with ttomwv; we'll see what he thinks. Contrary to some beliefs, it's not as much about trying to take credit for everything... as much as I know ttomwv is working hard at work these days, and I feel bad about bothering him with this stuff every time a re-use question comes up. I'm sure it wouldn't revert previously granted permissions, though.

Though yes, I'd be lying if I said it didn't grate more than slightly that I've missed more than a year's worth of AP from downloads on that file entry. What? I'm not a saint, here.

After further consideration, I am thinking I may take one of Herculine's ideas. When I mentioned the NosCo edition of the RR master, she had suggested instead a plugin. Well, that wouldn't do much for the vault, itself... but a more streamlined, NosCo edition of the companion system itself may not be a bad idea. Strip out some superfluous features, clean up the scripts (seriously, they have like a hundred commented out lines that I was too lazy to remove, as it stands), maybe add a couple new companions. Add in the teleporting across cells component of the companion management system, certainly.

On that note: if you're dedicated enough to read my insane rambling this far, I'd like your opinion on something.

Over on the NCCS file entry's page, a player recently brought forward a "clone" mod; wanting to be able to use NCCS to take control of it. Well, both my partner and I had to reply that that isn't possible...

...but then I got to thinking: why isn't it possible? I mean, NCCS is self-contained. It handles all the factions and packages and tokens through dialog. The scripting is set up to handle any NPC, regardless of origin or RefID. The only reason the "Join Me" option doesn't appear for all NPCs in the game is because I've told it not to; and to only show up for members of the NCCSFaction. Strip out that requirement, and it should make every NPC in the game that you can speak to recruitable.

So... how would everyone feel about an EZ-esque plugin for NCCS and RR? Something to allow them to apply to all NPCs in the game?

Naturally, this would cause an amazing amount of trouble with quest-essential NPCs and merchants; but that doesn't seem to slow CSR or EZ down any.

It would be a plugin, naturally; so that people who didn't want such problems didn't have to deal with the wider application of the dialog. The worst the end user would have to do is worry about class and combat style - and wouldja lookit that! Both mods already have the ability to change those on the fly...

I dunno. Just an idea. Probably not practical, but who knows.

It Deepens

Turns out several of the PM notifications I got were actually comments to my Nexus profile.

Comments like this one:

"why are lying to your friends, theres noting to gain by that, You don't want help ok cool, No problem, drag your friends down with you, thats stupid Dude. "

This is no longer a case of possibly mistaken impressions. ccmechanic2, you have just pushed my asshole button. Enjoy the ride.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Okay, boys and girls; gather 'round and listen up.

I know I bitch a lot about the way RR turned out - with the porting and the total loss of control on my part.

I know also that some of you would dearly like to help; whether it be to support a mod you love, or help a modder you for some reason like despite how much of a dick he usually is - or even as part of some harebrained scheme to get famous yourself.

Here's the kicker though: if you're going to offer to help, be specific. Tell me exactly what you want to do.

I'm not going to name names, but I got a Nexus PM last night after I hit the rack from someone who wants to help.

Trouble is, they are not specific in any way. There's a mention of "the files already being complete", and it "making my dreams come true".

Creepy, I know.

"I've read your blog, I deeply understand your needs, they have been addresed By me." (spelling and punctuation intentionally left unfixed)

Very creepy.


The author of said PM notes that it pertains to the RR Companions Vault; and that permission will be required from me, "Ridgerunner" (I assume here they mean ttomwv), Fry1969, and Herculine.

ttomwv and I, I can understand. We're the stated authors of RR. Fry and Herculine I don't get. Both have done very nice mods; but neither is connected directly to the base mod.

Does this mean modification and reupload of their separate works will also be occurring?

Further, there's the mention that I should "read the link" and reply with my thoughts and permission if I'm willing to grant it.

There is no link and/or non-hot URL in the PM.

So, I had no choice but to reply:

I may be missing something; but I don't see any link here to go read.

Beyond that, you don't say what exactly you're planning to do, nor how it would be an improvement over what is now available.

My apologies; but I must categorically deny any reuse permission of my work until and unless you can tell me specifically what I'd be agreeing to. I've been burned by a lack of specificity in the past, and I try never to make the same mistake twice.

I want this in public record, as well as saving the relevant PM:

I specifically and categorically deny reuse permission of any and all of my works in this instance until further notice; to include but not be limited to the RR Companions Vault for Fallout 3, my RR Companions Vault companions pack, the alternate guards addon, my companions creation tutorial, as well as NCCS for Fallout: New Vegas.

If you want to try to help, that's fine. But please, for the love of all that's unholy; tell me what you want to do, and why it will be a help; else you're going to get a big, fat NO. I'm not blindly agreeing to anything, anymore.

I'd also suggest if the other authors mentioned above get the same PM, that you should say no as well until we find out exactly what's going on, and how our works are to be modified.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A New Direction?

Well, it's been almost a week since my last post. New Vegas still doesn't work. At this point, I'm down to uninstalling it, reinstalling it, patching it, and praying to whoever's listening that this "update" doesn't b0rk the esm again.

Not in the mood to do such things the last few days, I've been working on an FO3 project I've wanted to do for quite some time.

I'm going to be straight with you all: I don't like the RR Companions Vault. It's full of errors that can't be fixed, the cell is less than optimally designed, and I bloated the companion system with useless "features" trying to make it popular (I've since learned there's no point - my work will never be popular).

I'd had it in my head to do a "NosCo" version of the mod. Uploaded to a new file entry, with permission to copy/translate/modify specifically and categorically denied.

The esm would maintain the same name for compatibility with existing companions and savegames; but would feature things like a redesigned Vault 1 cell, broken up into three or so smaller cells; a streamlined companion system boasting several of the new things I've learned to do in the course of NCCS; NPCs that were actually useful instead of just being useless fluff; some form of ownership quest; and the entry location moved to somewhere that doesn't suck (with the tunnels of course being redesigned to reflect the difference in directions and location). Compatibility with Refurbished and the existing third party ownership quest would be zero.

I mentioned this idea to Herculine, who is one of my primary modding sounding boards these days. She returned a concern that I would be forcing people to "choose". Effectively, get the latest updated version but use it my way, or use the old version and keep refurb. Point.

Still, there's little I can do otherwise. Worrying about Refurb has kept the vault locked into its current crash-happy iteration. I literally cannot do any more optimizing to the cell as it now sits. Room bounds, occlusion planes, cutting down on visual effects; it's all done already. This is the "optimized" version. I won't update the companion system as it now sits; since Nexus admins have already stated that "porting" permission can't be revoked - which renders anything I do to file #3644 fair game for copying by unnamed entities.

The point, nonetheless, remains. Forcing people to choose would cause problems. Refurb aside; two distinct versions of the master open up a frightening possibility for support issues.

So, what can I do? I'm not even keen on playing with RR anymore. I want it out of my game; to be able to work on my companions with a better system. This is not an issue in NV - since my personal companions run on a standalone system, completely independent of NCCS.

My FO3 companions don't. I created them before I knew how to write a system from scratch; when I was still trying to work within the bounds of others' defined "systems".

The other morning, I rectified that thorn in my paw.

Say hello:

I'm sure you recognize these three. They've featured in a great many of my screenshots over the last two years. What bears reintroducing them?

This is my original special companions plugin for FO3. Notice the five masters.

This is where the girls live now:

No more dependence on RR; on my RR companions pack, or even on 20thCW. Completely standalone. They now need only the relevant meshes and textures in the data directory.

Unfortunately, FO3Edit proved to be as much of a pain in the ass as it always is; and refused to "clean" the master list in the plugin's header. I ended up having to copy the NPCs and combat styles to a new plugin; and rewrite everything else around them from scratch. This means they have to learn all over again, just like a couple years back. On the up side, the latest iteration of my combat styles are enough that they're pretty dangerous from the start.

I also took the opportunity (since I had to write a new one and all) to work over the companion script, and get rid of about two hundred lines of useless garbage. The scripts now sit at a svelte 180 lines. I added a few goodies about not attacking the player; recreated part of the companion management system from NCCS - while teleporting at the end of combat and such isn't necessary in FO3, I nonetheless added a script hook that will forcibly keep them with me across cell changes. I was amused to realize my latest companion management system is so robust that I don't need the Pip-boy plugins anymore. The script completely fucks over any dev-mandated attempt to remove the companions from my party.

Kept it to the basics, mainly. Follow, stay, set home, go home, put on/remove pip-boy, turn on/off pip-boy light, inventory. Just 'cause I was in that kind of mood, I added a "Strip for me." command, too. (Though you won't likely be seeing that one in one of my public releases anytime soon...)

The companion script also keeps all the old favorites: sitting when you do, drawing/holstering, healing themselves and you with stims, sneaking, healing fully on player sleep.

No class changing or aggression changing or stat checking. The NPCs have to be set up beforehand with the personality and skills you want. Follow package is set up for maximum reliability, and will allow NPCs to offer services at any time; be it following, sandboxing, or sitting. No sneak menu, either.

I can safely say, this is the first real "Nos" companion system I've ever done. There are no concessions here to what's popular or considered must-have by the community at large. It's nice.

I also used some new techniques I've learned for NPC creation, itself. The added master for 20thCW isn't needed; as I set them up with leveled lists that will spawn a random outfit, primary and secondary weapons, chems, and caps. Starting equipment will thus be different every game - and the girls will acquire new goodies on their own if I leave them someplace until the cell resets.

I did make another advancement, as well. I've mentioned before, and oft considered "companion perks" - though not in the way that Bethsoft implemented them. I wanted perks based on the number of companions in your party. Things like better perception - you know, one of the main reasons people work in groups to begin with. I toyed with some scripting a bit, and did this:

As long as at least two of the three companions are in my party, I get +2 Perception. The corresponding NV perk would probably carry the 'detect invisible enemies' thing from ED-E's perk, as well. Get down to one companion in-party, and the perk goes away. Learning how to pull this off has opened up considerable new possibilities. It'll be more complex to institute for NCCS, since there I don't get the luxury of using explicit references. Still, I'll only need to work up a block of code that updates a 'companionsinparty' variable; and the scripting will otherwise operate near identically.

The real question, is where do I go from here. Fact is, I've been using Vault 1 as a base for so long that I don't have any other house mods. Do I keep using it, and just be content to have my own companions on a better system? Or should I perhaps revive The Tower? I stopped working on it due to custom texture issues; but it would certainly be simple enough to replace all the custom room pieces with their default equivalent...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I. Hate. New. Vegas.

Decided to try to start a new game this afternoon.


I skip their shitty intro movie, wake up in Doc Dipshit's place... and my view never changes from the ceiling fan. Let it sit five minutes, my character never sits up.

Half dozen tries later, I get him to sit up once; get to the face chooser, close that... and it hangs again. Doc just stands there.

Tried manually enabling my controls from the console, that will let me look around but not move.

I've switched off all mods, tried launching from the exe direct instead of through FOMM (thus bypassing NVSE as well) and still nothing.

If anyone from Bethesda and/or Obsidian is reading this? Fuck you both. If you can't fix your abortion of a game, say so and stop trying. Your "patches" are only making things worse.

On Oblivion Service Companions

You may recall I mentioned awhile back trying to give one of my Oblivion companions a service option - and I don't mean the ones added by Lovers.

Specifically, I wanted Branwen - being a mage - to be able to recharge my stuff for me.

This turned out to be a mixed success; she would recharge when not in my party, but not while following.

I figured it was some weird artifact of the engine and pressed on with other endeavors.

I happened to be mucking around in the CS the other night, doing some package work, when I noticed the "Offers Services" flag on the package. I had completely forgotten AI packages have those.

Sure enough, I cracked open CM and looked at the follow package, and it's set not to allow companions to offer services whilst following you. Why the Cutthroat crew did this is beyond me; but what the hell do I know?

So, I created a quick plugin that reset the flag to yes; and she now recharges my stuff whenever I want. Still costs gold; but less hassle than trying to track down a recharging merchant every time I need one topped off.

If you are trying to make your companion a bit more special and add repair, recharge, or training and they aren't cooperating while following? Now you know why, and how to fix it. Just thought I'd share.

Carry on.

NCCS - v0.6 Fixed

The issue with NCCS' companion scripts appears to have been resolved. The issue turned out to be that the newly-patched game engine handles the 'OnLoad' event differently than previous versions.

Since it wasn't registering the NPCs are having been re-loaded, the script wasn't updating correctly for newly-hired companions; and thus not correctly setting the variable that tracks whether the companion is merely "hired" or actually in your party. Since the in-the-party variable is what's checked to handle sneaking, weapon drawing, and similar functions, they weren't running.

I've changed when the variable is set in the new script version. It will now be re-set every frame, which should result in near-instantaneous updates to the companion's behavior.

I had been hoping to hold off on upload 0.6 until the new companion backpacks had a weight limit instituted, but I think this issue warrants a more immediate resolution. I still need to update the other nineteen companion scripts, and v0.6 should be going up to the Nexus later today.

I'd like to thank SuperSledgeNY for getting tired of waiting on me and taking it upon himself to track down exactly which function was causing the issue, and then letting me know about it so's I could go about fixing it. Thanks of course also go out to my ever-stalwart partner in crime, Herculine; for her tireless testing of attempted fixes (since I never did get the problem to manifest in my game).

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Head, Meet Desk

The theory came up that the issue with NCCS is somehow related to Dead Money. How an esm could change the scripting environment of the game I don't know; but I have seen stranger things from this engine.

I switched on Dead Money and resumed testing this morning...

...and everything still works.

I've tried commenting out the new features, and none of it helped in testing in a game where the problem has manifested. I'm running out of stuff to try, here.

I have long suspected that I live in a different reality from you people, and this is only reinforcing that paranoid, dissociative belief.

On the up side, I found out that Maeva looks quite spiffy in a stetson:

...But on looking closer at that first shot, I also see that the 44mag mesh is screwed up and has the speed loader sticking out of it. I wonder if Bethsoft employs anyone who isn't incompetent and/or a total slacker?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Insert Sigh Here.

So, my boredom this desolate morn of the total variety; and me having watched about all the To Aru Kagaku no Railgun I can stand for one week, I decided to fire up New Vegas, and see about unfucking my flagship mod.

I started by testing, as I usually do.

I checked Carrie for sneaking and weapon drawing/holstering - to verify that her companion script was indeed still functioning.

Well... shit. Apparently it isn't broken here, and we need deeper testing...

I grabbed Maeva and [CENSORED]; passed out some stimpaks and verified that everyone had ammo, and we made for Sloan to head into Quarry Junction. I figured if anywhere will result in frenetic, companion-assistance-required combat, it will be Deathclaw land.

Weapon drawing/sneaking; check.

Combat? That's a check.

Following over rough terrain and teleporting, check.

Jumping off a fucking cliff to stay behind their beloved master?


Now, see, this is why I loathe Bethsoft. It isn't the money-grubbing or the density of their staff surpassing depleted uranium. It's the randomness of their work. We have it confirmed by my partner Herculine that 0.5 doesn't work right with the new patch. Conversely, another player has reported that 0.5 works fine for him even on the new patch.

The 0.6 version of NCCS that I'm running is identical to 0.5, save for the new inventory containers. There were no revisions to the companion scripts made.

So why in the holy hell does it still work for me; but not for others. Further, why have I not had five hundred reports of 0.5 not working? Granted, there's a comment up from me that it's being worked on; but that's never slowed you people down before.

It could be some sort of GECK-setting in the plugin that's invisible to us, but is somehow causing problems for 0.5, but was reset in the course of developing 0.6. In that vein, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to package up 0.6, mail it to Herculine, and see if I can impose on her to remove that variable from the issue.

On the other hand, it could easily be that Mercury is in retrograde or something. Did some of you miss your monthly sacrifice to Ganesha? He is the favored God of hackers for a reason you know - being known as the Remover of Obstacles and whatnot.

And lastly, here's me and Maeva surveying the quarry to make sure everything was sufficiently dead before we moved away from the high ground:

Yeah, I know - it doesn't have anything to do with testing, but I thought it made for a cool screenshot. I had several seconds previous killed both Deathclaw Alphas with one round each. You've gotta love 50BMG-AP. DT? What DT?

Edit, later:

Herculine has confirmed that 0.6 does not work for her.

Which is baffling. I've been playing the game off and on all morning, and aside from two times that the game locked, I haven't been encountering any significant issues. Fact is, the companions' combat behavior seems to be improved somewhat over previous versions. They cleaned up Vault 11 pretty good. Granted, that could be just the latest set of revisions to their combat styles kicking in, since I didn't test them heavily before.

As we all know, if I can't reproduce the problem to see its effects myself, I have a hell of a time fixing it.

Provided the save-game cleaning doesn't fix it, about the best I'm going to be able to do is go through and comment out the new code in a companion script or two, and have her try that.

Thankfully, my personal companion system is written with me in mind. As such, I don't have to cede to the desires of anyone else. It thus does not have the sneak menu or any of that useless crap; and is so immune to the new patch, regardless.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Reading around a bit, happened to pop into the Japanese Fallout 3/NV screenshot/mod database I mention sometimes.

Saw a picture posted. It was a group of the kiddie-companions those people seem to be so big on (and I'll avoid the urge to troll you all and mention something about the quake/tsunami being a divine punishment for loli/shotacon on a society-wide scale...). It is of a massive group. The title?


Twenty. Four. Companions.


This, boys and girls, is why us companion system modders get the urge to drink so often. Thankfully, no one's tried to take NCCS that far (or if they have, I haven't had to hear about it yet); but I remember more than a few RR players who were personally insulted that my mod didn't re-make the game engine so that they could have a party of twenty at a time.

I can't even imagine how hard that is on a PC that's even top-tier. Getting two dozen NPCs in one cell at one time is a frame-rate murderer at the best of times; but when they're all decked out in custom gear, high-poly meshes and high-res textures... and of course to make up for that kind of party you need MMM's increased-increased spawns...

And to think, I've always found four companions at once to be over the top.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Serious Question

I got another PM this afternoon, from someone wanting to know how to cut and paste a script in the GECK.

Now, I know everyone who doesn't know the shortcuts is not an idiot. Some people just don't know; and that's fine. We all have to learn some time.

That said, I have to ask - and this is a serious, snark-free question - how do you people use Windows for years; or even decades, and not learn basic shortcut keys? Select all, copy, cut, paste, open, print, save... they're all pretty universal and work in nearly any Windows program with the proper functionality.

That is to say, while you can't cut text from say... a text window in Dragon Age; you can cut text from Notepad, Wordpad, Word, virtually any web browser; most paint/image editing programs use the same keys for manipulating selected areas of an image.

I dunno, maybe I'm strange. I find it faster when in the middle of typing something to manipulate Windows via keyboard shortcuts, rather than having to take one hand off the keyboard, grab the mouse, find where in the holy hell the pointer is on the screen, move over for one or two clicks, then move the pointer back out of the way, go back to the keyboard, and try to get my two-handed typing mojo back in full swing.

Since this is the several-eth PM I've received on the subject, I'm obviously going to have to edit the tutorial; nihilism bout or not.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Other Mods

When I have been working on mods lately, it's been in Oblivion. The mod universe is much more diverse there, even allowing for the limitations of the earlier form of the engine.

I've been toying with the Lovers family of mods. Which are not only amusing to watch in action, but no small marvel of scripting and enchantment implementation. They could definitely stand to be translated better, though.

Mostly, I've been refining my older characters. Putting to use things I've learned, and resources I've collected of late. You may recall Branwen, a 'new breed' of CM companion for me - created after I learned the ins and outs of companion making from FO3.

I tried to do some companions that weren't dependent on CM or any other system:

This... did not go so well. After several failed attempts to create standalone companions for the game (that inventory scripting just will not work...) I decided to revisit older companions, and see about improving instead of working from scratch. Branwen was the first to get such a workover:

Improvement. I also worked on features, adding her ability to recharge magical items:

Though the recharge function does still need some tinkering. It will only appear when she isn't in the party. I'm not sure why that is, just yet.

I also tried a new trick I picked up in my web trawling. It seems that one of the ways the Japanese modders get those perfect skin tones on their 'Chocolate Elves' and such - and the reason the rest of us have never been able to match it with the facegen, no matter how long we try - is to change the Oblivion.ini file. There's a line: "bFaceGenTexturing="; this line defaults to 1. Setting this line to 0 removes the engine's ability to texture over the face; it removes the splotchy, the five o'clock shadow, the blush, and the weird ass artifacting around the mouth and nose. The down side? It removes all ability to texture the face - that is, you can no longer change skin tone, flush/blush, or any other small details about the face. It displays at the base texture, and will not be changed regardless of what the slider settings are.

This means that while their complexions clear up, it also reverts every NPC in the game so that every race gets one skin tone. One set of eyebrows, no facial hair male or female.

This was not an acceptable trade-off to me. It may be to you, which is why I mention the line in the ini file. Feel free to play with it to see if you like it - it won't break anything; to revert, you need only close the game, open the ini, and change the setting back to 1.

If you're hardcore, and willing to either ignore most NPCs, or go through and edit them all yourself; this setting has potential. Ignoring the serfs and setting up specialized textures for your player/companion races could result in some stunning characters. It would be a lot of work, though - and base-game NPCs can look really weird; since their faces aren't optimized for such things - even with HGEC/Roberts and such installed.

I should also note, while I've used it for years; I had largely ignored Apachii's Goddess Store. Get a neat outfit here or there for a particular companion, but never got too heavy into it. I've started using it more, and I am very much impressed. Keeping a selection of wigs on hand lets you change a character's look on the fly, without having to resort to the race menu and its accompanying headaches.

Then there are the outfits, accessories, weapons, fingernails/claws and wings and all kinds of useless crap that's oh, so pretty.

I actually have Viconia and Saerileth set up so that they wear different wigs with the casual and armored outfits. Call it on and off-duty hair styles.

Coming Clean

Okay, I wasn't planning on telling the entire unvarnished truth, but I've decided to level with you guys; since I'm sure several of you are impatiently awaiting the fixed version of NCCS.

I haven't touched the mod.

I updated my game, grabbed the new NVSE, and haven't even fired the fucking thing up to see if it'll still start.

At this point in time, New Vegas holds essentially zero interest for me. It is a fundamentally broken game, with a screwed AI, flawed engine, and abysmal storyline filled with railroading and heavy-handed forcing the player in various directions. Worse yet, a substantial portion of the fan base is made up of people too stupid to tie their shoes without a flowchart and six PMs for help.

I want to fix NCCS (assuming it's even possible at this point), but quite frankly right now I just can't muster enough give-a-fuck to dive into the script editor (which is, I will add, still broken; nearly six months after its release).

Damned good thing that they went ahead and got that DLC out though, eh? For a few weeks, it almost looked like Bethsoft wasn't going to get to screw players out of a hundred bucks worth of shit that should have been in the game in the first place; while breaking the entire game several times over in the process. Dodged a bullet on that one!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

NCCS - Broken

Had it confirmed this morning that the latest NV patch and/or latest NVSE break NCCS. They stop the companion scripts from functioning.

I don't know why this is yet - as I never download Bethsoft's shitty updates when they're still new - but I will be updating the game later today, and begin a search for the function that is now apparently verboten.

An update will be released to the Nexus when I get it figured out.


Reading around forums about everything else the new patch and DLC have broken.

Will someone remind me why you idiots were all atwitter that Obsidian was going to be doing this one, thereby making it so much better than FO3 was?

As far as I can tell, they're inept morons who have no business coding a game.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

No Improvement

Slept all of an hour this morning; ended up in the mood to enact destruction on a larger scale than FPS allows for. Fired up a favorite from years ago: Command and Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour.

Sadly, the AI has not improved any in the intervening years:

Even three on one it was still boring.

Webcomics aren't updating (and the ones that do, suck), and I'm ducking the Nexus file entries at the moment. I just can't do any more Stupid Mod Questions(TM) right now. Between the "someone else's mod broke yours, fix it" and the "tell me step by step how to rewrite your mod to make it mine"... I'm good and fed up with the whole mess for awhile. Fortunately, PMs get a notification sent to my Gmail box; so I can access them direct.

Don't expect my mood to improve much in the immediate future, either. It's the most horrible time of the year. Yesterday, I had to sign another lease on this place; which means I'm fucking stuck here for another year.

Just about out of pomegranate Rockstar, too; and this is the odd month that it's not on sale, so I can forget getting another case.

Where the hell's the apocalypse when I need it?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NCCS - Beta 0.6, Upcoming

As I've noted before, we're running out of stuff to add that's actually useful and not gimmicky.

You can thank Herculine for this one. Awhile back, she requested a new feature: the ability to have companions carry stuff, but not be able to actually equip it.

Other systems have used FOSE or the like in a convoluted manner to flag certain items as unequippable or such. I took an easier route of setting up a secondary container. An "invisible backpack", if you will.

In the future, I may approach Bunsaki for permission to use the Blackwolf backpacks for the mod. These are the ones used by Jessi and Kelsey. They're also the ones I use in my personal (non-uploaded) mods. These would ideally be equippable on command, like the collars, pip-boys, and such already in the equipment menu.

I haven't decided yet whether or not it's worth the trouble.

Either way; less rambling, more showy-telly.

There are now two inventory options under the equipment dialog menu. 'Personal' and 'Backpack'. Personal inventory is stuff the companion can use; things that are "on them". Items put in that container can be equipped, ammunition and weapons will be used, stims will be used, et cetera. The backpack is the storage container. Items in it are not directly accessible by the companion. They can't use armor/clothing, won't be able to equip weapons or use ammunition; won't use any chems that are in this container.

You can see here, Carrie's normal inventory. Notice the equipped dots next to some items.

Now observe the backpack contents:

Despite everything being equippable, nothing has been. This allows safe storage for important items; weapons you don't want knocked out of hands or ammunition used up. Outfits that don't fit in with the style you want the companion to have.

At present, on removing the companion from the party (through stay, go home, fire, or dead companion) the contents of the backpack are automatically dumped directly into the player's inventory. It's a bit counter-intuitive; most people would expect the items to go into the NPC inventory directly. Unfortunately, depending on what's in their "personal" inventory; this can very easily go over their carry capacity. This can cause problems here and there; risking even item loss, according to what I've read.

Since I didn't want the items to be unavailable until you hire on another companion to fill that slot; and since moving is still possible even for an overloaded player, going direct-to-you seemed to be the best option.

At present, the containers do not have a weight limit, nor a physical location you can reach to manually retrieve items. I'm considering changing tactics, to institute a weight limit, but I haven't been able to decide what manner. Should it be a straight limit (the aforementioned Blackwolf packs come in versions that allow extra carry capacity of 25 to 70 pounds, depending on which you equip); or a percentage of the companion's overall capacity; or even a match to their capacity - in effect doubling the amount they can carry?

The realism crowd is sure to bitch no matter how I do it; so I'm leaning towards a simple matching of capacity. Something to keep the container from being used as a bag of holding for thousands of items at a time.

If you've got an opinion on the carry weight restrictions, feel free to weigh in here.